[mk_dropcaps style="fancy-style"]T[/mk_dropcaps]here are two types of people in our lives. The ones who lift and the ones who lean. Often it is referred to as the elevator principle. You have friends who either bring you to higher levels or who take you down just by being around them. There is no neutral ground in relationships. You are either advancing or regressing. The people we hang around are vital to who we become. They influence our responses from moment to moment. They impact what we say, the gestures we use, and even our income is affected and has been shown to be within $10,000 of our 5 closest friends. What a good reminder to be a lot more selective in who we chose to be around. It is something easy to forget. But once you have chosen wisely then what?
One of the best ways to stay present and to ensure you are advancing along with your friends is to look for the gold in them. Chose to see the strengths, talents, and giftings that are unique to them and call them out. Circumstances, learned patterns of thinking, or even what others have spoken over us will try to cover the gold inside. It sometimes can be hidden to a point where it is almost unrecognizable to an outsider. As sons and daughters of God, gold is always there, but we may need to help our friends dig in, draw out, and clean up their gold for the rest of the world to see.One of my pastors, Becky Heinrichs, did a message titled “Be a Gold Digger” that exemplifies the value of drawing out the gold in others. I wont repeat all of that here as she laid it out brilliantly.
By now you are probably wondering how being a “gold digger” connects with the theme of this month of “be present”. Quite simply, when you dig for others’ gold in any situation, you will automatically be positioned for success in that moment. You will be on a treasure hunt, of sorts, searching for the unique value of who we are engaging with. If seeking Gold is your motive you can not help but be present in the moment. Distractions slip away, busyness is tuned out, and a mini-adventure of sorts begins. When you are consumed with yourself and your own needs, (as addressed in Distraction Demolition) there is no bandwidth left for others. But when you have adopted a habit of seeking out the gold in others, you can think of yourself as a treasure hunter. You bring their value to the surface, encourage it, strengthen it with praise, and most important of all remind them of their gold when actions or choices try to steer us away from our true strength and value.
Eliminating distractions in relationships is like cleaning a new house. Seeking the good in our friends is like exploring the house’s layout in preparation for a remodel to come. The areas that are the most solid can be preserved and the areas of growth highlighted. The value of the house is taken to a new level as a result and able to reach a new capacity. That is what we do in relationships for each other, spur each other on to better versions of ourselves, and have fun in the process!
Where do I start digging?
Slow and steady. Make a point of commenting on one great thing about every person you talk with. The parameters are simple. It must be genuine and it must be something beyond just physical appearance. With your closer friends this will be easier to see, but with familiarity we tend to slip in our consistency of recognizing, refining, and praising them for what makes them so special. Put this to the test and see how much more peaceful and rewarding your week becomes.
Happy treasure hunting!